At the Finish Line.

PCT 2010, Day 37 -- 9/6/10

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We FINISHED the trail today. Can you believe it? It's hard for us to believe we are really done, after so many years of working on it.

Last night we thought it might be possible if were to do a 25er. We only did a 23 yesterday meaning we would have to do about 28 today. I went to sleep thinking we would probably have another night on the trail. But when we woke this morning both Ken and I knew this would be the day.

It had rained most of the night so it was hard to get going. But with the end within reach we started at 7:18.

The trail was wet and foggy. Our camp was at 5000 feet in elevation. We quickly climbed above 6500 feet and we got a really neat treat: everything was covered with snow. It looked like a winter wonderland. It was cold and beautiful. We stayed up high for miles walking through fresh snow and marveling at the beauty. Because of the fog we could never see far but it was really neat.

By 12:30 we stopped for lunch and we had hiked over 14 miles. We were hiking fast, partly because it was cold and party because we were so close to the end.

It was wet and it started to rain pretty hard after lunch. At that point we only had four miles to the US/Canada border. On the way we came across two other couples that were finishing today. We all got to the Terminus at the border at the same time. It was raining real hard so it was hard to get pictures, but I got a couple.

We walked out most of the rest of the way in Canada together with the other couples. We were all happy about completing the trail today, but I think we were mostly happy to be getting out of the rainy cold weather.

At about 5:00 we walked out of the forest and into Manning Park. From there we walked about a half a mile to a Lodge who had plenty of room for all three couples. It's a beautiful place. I remember thinking how warm it was in the lobby. It was pretty funny watching six dripping wet hikers check in at the desk, all supper happy to get a room. That was a few hours ago. Since then we showered, washed our clothes, ate a big dinner with dessert in the restaurant, and took a dip in the hot tub. Now I am laying in a warm bed writing this, not fully believing that there is no more trail to hike.

As good as this place is, there is very little communications here. I haven't even called Carol. Also, planning how to get home is difficult. I think we are going to take a bus tomorrow to Seattle and then figure it out from there.

So its finally over. I still haven't processed it yet. But another great day on the PCT.

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Fog this morning.
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As we climbed higher, we found snow.
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Looks like the first snow of the season.
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Thats me, in even more snow now.
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The snowy trail.
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Same trail without me.
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Break for lunch, down lower. Rain stopped for just a few minutes.
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Getting close to the border.
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AT THE FINISH LINE!!! The is the border of US and Canada, and it is also the official termius of the PCT at the north end. The trail into Canada is considered an access trail.
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Pretty happy. But its raining pretty hard. It was difficult to convense one of the other hikers to take this picture because of the rain.
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The smaller statue is one of the monuments that are placed every mile or so by the US and Canadan governments to mark the border.
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The first sign in Canada, explaining how to get to the parking lot, that is about 8 miles away.
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Hiking in Canada, in the rain.
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Here, we are about 8 miles into Canada, and the end of the access trail, and the complete end to our hike.
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The lodge in the background is about 1/2 a mile from the end of the access trial. It looks really wonderful to us.
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The lobby in the Lodge. Wet hikers look out of place.